Daily Archives: July 1, 2010

The Abominable Kindle Wins?

I have hated the Kindle since it was introduced and have made my hatred plain everywhere and to everyone.

Two reasons:

1) Kindle 1.0 was fugly. I’d never be seen in public with something that looked like it was designed by terrorists in one of the ’stans. And it worked like a product designed by reading terrorists: Every review contained complaints about accidentally hitting the Paging buttons.

2) It didn’t use ePub. And this was the Big One. Instead of Amazon getting behind the filetype that was emerging as a “standard,” it went its own way. No one in books wanted to see this mess of formats continue into the future.

Yesterday, Amazon announced its upcoming Kindle Previewer feature. It will allow people with HTML5-compliant browsers to see fully-formatted Kindle eBooks on the web. With that, Amazon has stepped into the future I’ve described here. Amazon is now poised to take on Google and its eBook-dominating plans.

And today I just had this thought:

How many Kindles are now out there vs ePub devices? If there are MORE K, then isn’t *K* the goddammed “standard” for eBooks now!?Thu Jul 01 14:39:26 via Echofon

There’s a Kindle app for the iPhone and iPad. So those tens of millions of devices are now Kindles too.

And Amazon just let loose Kindle for Android this week. So those millions of devices can now be Kindles too.

Add up all those numbers and the population of devices that support ePub — Adobe DRMed ePub — are just crushed. (Note: You cannot count the iPad as an ePub device because it does not do Adobe DRMed ePub — and that’s the flavor of ePub that’s been the “standard.”)

For the IDPF to continue to bray about ePub being an “eBook standard” is just desperate PR now. The numbers are no longer there. Hell, even writers have jumped on publishing for Kindle rather than ePub.

The numbers now support Amazon’s Kindle format as the eBook standard.

You don’t know how much I hate having to admit this.

How long will it be until Amazon wakes up to public libraries offering Kindle eBooks — as they have with Adobe DRMed ePub? Will we soon see an agreement between Amazon and OverDrive? Or will Amazon snub OverDrive and directly woo public libraries?

The iPad cannot borrow eBooks from public libraries. They use Adobe DRM.

If Amazon gets public libraries on board, it would be the death of ePub.